Let’s face it; the way you look is more important today than it has ever been. This is due to the increased exposure that our appearance has to everyone around us because of social media and other forms of e-communication (not to mention selfies!!!). We are constantly seeing each other’s faces on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. This puts a lot of pressure on us to look good and feel confident about our appearance.
Most people tend to think about their bodies when they think of improving their looks and building confidence. Workouts and diets are usually on everyone’s mind (especially early in the year; New Year, New Me!). This makes a lot of sense living down here in my hometown of Miami Florida where we have year round “beach weather”, wear fewer clothes than most other places, and have a population of beautiful people from around the world.
However, as much as I agree that taking care of the body with diet and exercise helps us all to look and feel good, I think that we should all take a realistic look at ourselves and determine if we are happy with our smile. Yes, that’s right, your smile can also make you look and feel good and doesn’t require you joining a new gym or giving up carbs!
A Smile is a positive expression!
You have to understand that your smile is your most basic but also most powerful form of positive expression. Our smile is linked to the same nerve centers of the brain as feelings of joy and happiness. When we are happy, we smile. When we look at the people we love, we smile. Your smile makes you feel better on the inside and looks better on the outside. In fact, studies have found that when you smile you actually decrease the levels of stress enhancing hormones and increase positive mood enhancing hormones (endorphins). It even lowers your blood pressure!
Smiling is a natural reaction to joy and happiness and this is very influential. Numerous scientific studies have established that a sincere smile is considered as attractive to others. Other studies have found that there is a solid connection between enjoying good health, longevity and smiling. Essentially, the act of smiling, genuine or false, can have immediate and long-lasting benefits on the health and welfare of a person.
How does your smile make you look more attractive to other people?
Your smile is most often one of the two things that someone else notices when he or she first looks at you. Whether you like it or not, if your smile is not up to par then you are sending out negative signals to someone who is looking at you. This has to do with the way our brain works. We are constantly scanning the world that we look at for imperfections and searching for symmetry. The human body should be perfectly symmetrical (try to remember high school biology and bilateral symmetry). If you draw a straight line vertically down the human body you should have equally spaced body parts on both sides (eyes, ears, arms, legs, etc.). Your smile works the same way. You should be able to draw a line down the middle of your face and it should intersect the middle of your central teeth (top and bottom). If it does not, then you have a misalignment of your teeth, which could be for several reasons including missing teeth, misaligned or crooked teeth, or possibly a misalignment of your bite or jaw. A misalignment of your teeth makes your appearance asymmetrical which is unpleasing to the eye. This type of misalignment can not only cause other people to look at you differently but they can also cause you to have functional issues with your teeth and not be able to clean them properly which can create much larger health issues (not to mention bad breath, plaque build-up, and other problems).
How can your smile make you feel more attractive?
The power of the smile is not just limited to looking more attractive to other people but also transfers to feeling attractive from within you. When we smile we feel better because we release endorphins but we also get a boost of confidence when we know that our smile looks great. Your smile is with you in every situation that you are in every day for the rest of your life: school, graduation, college, work, dates, job interviews, meeting new people, weddings, etc. Shouldn’t you feel 100% confident that when the situation that you are in makes you smile that you will be putting the best version of yourself forward? If you do not feel confident in your smile then you should get an evaluation from an orthodontist and have them give you an assessment and explain your options to get your smile looking and feeling great. Or, you can live the rest of your life making excuses for not liking your smile and not live to your full potential. You decide.